Play Diablo III for free this weekend!

Blizzard has announced that a stress test of Diablo III on Battle.net will take place from April 20 to April 23. For this weekend only, players can download the Diablo III client, log onto Battle.net and play the Act I of the much awaited game (which is due to be released on May 15) .

This not only helps Blizzard to test the capacity of their servers, but also helps increase the buzz around the game! Download the client here.

We’re pleased to announce the Diablo III open beta weekend, which offers open access to all players with a valid Battle.net account! Beginning this Friday everyone is invited to log in and help us put the game and servers through their paces in this three day stress test as we march toward the game’s release on May 15.

Diablo® III Open Beta Weekend

Image via Blizzard

via Diablo® III Open Beta Weekend – Diablo III.

Games and being in the ‘Flow’

Some games become ‘boring’ and ‘uninteresting’ after a few hours of game play, others (like Diablo), are imminently replay-able and enjoyable. This is because good games enable players to get into the ‘Flow’. The concept of flow becomes even more important as gamification trends catch on. This article presents an introduction to flow and provides recommendations for game developers (and others who wish to incorporate gaming concepts into their products and services). It provides a scientific explanation of why text-based games and adventure games are increasingly relics of the past (a simpler view by xkcd is below).

Pwned

Image by xkcd

Continue reading

Diablo III Launch and Pricing

Blizzard Entertainment is to launch Diablo III on May 15. Digital pre-ordering is already available directly from Blizzard. The pricing strategy being employed by Blizzard for this release is interesting – both the digital and physical media (DVD) versions will retail at the same price of $59.99. This contrasts with other pricing schemes that pass on the zero marginal cost of production to consumers by providing discounts for digital content. Other options that Blizzard can employ include providing incentives for its digital version by giving additional in-game benefits to users, or increasing the ‘hassle factor’ for its DVD version by deploying DRM on its physical media.

 

Diablo III Launching May 15 – Digital Pre-Sales NOW OPEN

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

 

Below is the teaser that was revealed four years ago.

 

 

Read more at Blizzard Entertainment:Press Releases.

Video game market to reach $82 billion

The Economist reports that the video game market was $56 billion last year, and will reach $82 billion by 2015.

English: Arcade Video Game

Image via Wikipedia

The current market has grown by 60% in the past 5 years, and is now twice the size of the music industry and is quickly catching up with the film industry. Much of this growth is due to emerging markets in China and demographic shifts in the US.

The biggest market is America, whose consumers this year are expected to spend $14.1 billion on games, mostly on the console variety.

Read more at Daily chart: Shoot ‘em up | The Economist.

Economics of Social & Mobile Gaming

Mashable has created a nice infographic that depicts the numbers behind social and mobile gaming. A key fact is that 35% of social gamers have casual gamers, with no prior video game experience. Consequently, the virtual goods market is expected to reach $6 billion in 2013. The mobile game market is expected to be $54 billion by 2015 (think Angry Birds)!

Image via Mashable

Read mpre at The Economics of Social Gaming [INFOGRAPHIC].